Bleuler’s Continued Legacy

Kermit Cole
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This month’s Neuropsychobiology reviews, in two articles, the continued legacy of Eugen Bleuler – originator of the term “schizophrenia.”  An article from Switzerland states that Bleuler’s conception of schizophrenia was “markedly broader and, as for prognosis, much less pessimistic” than Kraepelin’s dementia praecox, and calls “a continuous reflection upon psychiatry’s historical and epistemological basis … an indispensable component of psychiatry, clinically and scientifically.” emphasized the potential of therapeutic communities in providing care, the drawbacks of extended hospitalization and the therapeutic potential of planned ‘early discharge’ and job integration.” An article by German researchers shows that current evidence confirms Bleuler’s emphasis on therapeutic communities, early discharge, and supported employment.

Abstract → 

Becker, T., Kosters, M., “Psychosocial Interventions in People with Severe Mental Illness: A Bleulerian Perspective.” Neuropsychobiology, 66(1)70-75

Hoff, P., “Eugen Bleuler’s Concept of Schizophrenia and Its Relevance to Present-Day Psychiatry.” Neuropsychobiology, 2012; 66(1)6-13

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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